September 11, 2001 marked the start of a pivotal change here in America and worldwide. The global Islamic community danced in the streets, and they had good reason to celebrate. Not only was America violently and successfully attacked and brought to its knees, but it was also on this day that a world-wide conversation would begin about one thing: the religion of Islam. It was a conversation that would resonate throughout the four corners of the earth and one which continues to this day. Our children, fifteen years old or younger now, have never known it to be any other way in their lifetimes. Islam is on every television station, it is in every newspaper, it is in every news magazine, on the screens of every smart phone, iPad and laptop in the country, and on the minds of every man, woman and child in the world.
Now, if the narrative were actually a true representation of Islam – that would be one thing. But unfortunately, that’s not the case. Not only is the global media providing nonstop coverage, but it is also extremely biased in favor of this evil religion. Before the flames at Ground Zero were even extinguished, and even amid the smoke and rubble and burnt bodies of murdered Americans, our national leaders were declaring Islam to be a “nonviolent religion of peace.” It was surreal, unbelievable. And this has been the official continuing narrative ever since. Constantly repeated by heads of state the world over, as well as by every police commander in every city where another terrorist attack takes place. How many times have you heard the line, “it is too soon to tell what the attacker’s motivation was. It just seems to be a random act of violence. We are, quite frankly, stumped as to why he would do such a thing.” This in spite the fact that the man’s name was Mohammed, Ahmed, Nasir, Ibrahim, or Moktar. Friends, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure this out.
But it’s not just the government leaders and police commanders pushing this “religion of peace” nonsense. Islam is also being heralded as co-equal with Christianity by notable Christian leaders… everyone from Brian McLaren to Rick Warren are on board with a thing called “Chrislam,” because after all, they say, we all worship the same god. The Pope has been visiting mosques and participating in Islamic prayers, in attempts to build bridges to the Islamic world. And Joel Osteen brags about how Muslims attend his church and buy his books. Now granted, most mainstream Christians know Osteen is apostate, but he — along with people like Rick Warren are arguably the most famous “preachers” in America, and the general populace accept their endorsements as truth.
Here in America, where Christianity is reviled in public government schools, where you dare not carry a Bible to class or even keep one in your locker, where students walk the halls cursing like sailors but dare not utter the name of Jesus because it is just too offensive, and where the ACLU and Freedom From Religion Foundation wait eagerly to pounce upon any coach who would dare to pray in Jesus’ name before a game or any music teacher who would be so arrogant as to include Silent Night in a Christmas program, our children are now being forced to wear burkas, and visit mosques on field trips where they are taught to bow down and worship Allah. They’re being forced to memorize the Five Pillars of Islam and to affirm “there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet.” If you think I’m exaggerating or such things are not happening daily even in the small conservative communities across this nation, you are sadly ill informed.
There is no doubt; Islam is on a roll… you couldn’t buy this type of advertising or publicity at any price. I’ve said before that this is not all just happening naturally, but supernatural influences are involved here. Islam is not a religion of peace and Christians do not pray to the same entity that Muslims do. Allah is Satan. Is it any doubt that the father of lies would be perpetrating such delusion on the whole population of the earth in these last days? Truly, as Christians, we are not just wrestling against flesh and blood here, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12).
Over the past year or so, the press has been having a hard time continuing to defend the terrorists and present them in a positive light, and so now they have started to differentiate between the “peaceful,” or “moderate” Muslims and the mean ones. They continue to sing the same, tired old tune of “Islam: the religion of peace,” desperate as they are to continue the charade as long as possible. So now there is a new phrase being tested: “Radicalized Muslims.” Even though savage killers are committing barbaric acts of terror around the world on a daily basis, in the name of Islam, we are now told that these things are all being done by just a small group of radicalized Muslims. Most Muslims, you see, are just “normal” and nice. They’re your neighbors, no different from you and me. It’s only this small band of “radicalized” Muslims that are the problem and we shouldn’t confuse all Muslims with these radical ones. …And by the way, it’s still ok for your kids to take that field trip to the Islamic Center, to learn how sweet and loving Muslims really are. After all, let’s take the “high road” and show how progressive and advanced we are, by not judging all members of this religion by the actions of a few. Ok? Good.
Friends, this is just another lie. Or as our Muslim neighbors would call it, “Taqiyaa.” The Qur’an teaches that Muslims should lie to us infidels, in order to win our trust, so that they can first gain a foothold in our society, then the upper hand, then domination and finally their ultimate goal: total Islamic governance and rule under Sharia law. This is Islamic doctrine, and this is how they spread and increase. But I would contend that it’s no longer just the Muslims practicing Taqiyaa. Now, it’s also our government leaders, our police commanders, our news media, our school teachers and college professors, and even many of our Christian pastors. Even the Pope is now practicing the Islamic doctrine of blatant lying to non-Muslims. And the world is buying it all. Because this Taqiyaa is coming from people we were supposed to be able to trust. How insidious.
But how is it that so many are falling prey to such lies? Why do women support Islam, in spite of the fact that they are horribly oppressed and treated no better than cattle in this culture? Why are young people joining ISIS? Why are professing Christians converting to Islam in record numbers today? What is the appeal?
First of all, the overwhelmingly positive “press” that Islam gets in our culture surely doesn’t hurt. When everyone from your kids’ kindergarten teacher to your favorite anchor on the evening news to the kindly old pastor at your church on Sunday is declaring Islam to be the most wonderful, enlightened path one could ever hope to follow, it is no wonder people who don’t know any better form a positive, though ignorant, opinion and worldview on the subject. Islam is also well known for preying on the young and the downtrodden. Most of the new converts to Islam in the US are young people, experiencing a personal crisis in their lives, seeking answers …and in our culture of shallowness and superficiality, desperately seeking something to be a part of that offers a higher path and some sort of significance. The recruitment of new converts inside our American prisons is also huge. Again, feeling outcast by society, Islam promises hope for a future. The structure of the religious rites is viewed as just what the inmate needs when he “gets out” — a chance to turn his life around and do right by “god.” Suddenly their lives have meaning and purpose. Finally, at last, they consider themselves on the right track.
Another appeal is that Islam seems to offer unity and brotherhood. In Islam, the entire community celebrates religious festivals and carries out the rites of worship in unity and harmony. As one commentator put it, “they live out their faith publicly, they are deeply religious and fiercely proud.” Contrast this to Christianity in the United States today, where we seem to just go through the motions of religion, for “show.” We are forbidden to have Christian symbols in public, and there is even a controversy over a greeting of “Merry Christmas.” But we never speak up about religious oppression, because we don’t really seem to care anyway. To those outside looking in, it appears Christians are not proud of their Lord, they are ashamed of Him.
Young people are longing for something more. They can see through the phony and the fake, and they are tired of being superficially entertained. After years of all the cute stories in Sunday School, they want something real, and Islam seems to be legitimate. Legitimate enough that its adherents are willing to die for the cause. Such sincerity has enormous appeal. Contrast this to Christianity, where professed followers can’t even drag themselves out of bed once a week to get to church. Christians are entertained, pandered to, never asked to do much of anything for God, and the message preached is often meaningless. Instead of being fed the meat of God’s word which they so desperately crave, they’re given candy and milk — and even the milk is 2%. Then they go to Islam and Islam reinforces the notion that Christians are weak, hypocrites and whores. They are already primed and ready to hate the world of their parents that they broke away from, in favor of something that lures them with the promise of substance.
You see, it’s different in Islam. They pray five times a day, and this is enforced by Islamic law. You don’t get much more serious than that. As one writer said, “this practice helps Islam dominate a Muslim’s life, filling his daily rhythm with Islam.” Research shows that the more effort a person puts into something, the more he is likely to believe in it and value it. What’s more the prayers involve moving together in time. When Muslims pray, they all face the same direction, they bow down, get on their hands and knees, and put their face on the mat, all in unison, and then rise back up. Again and again. When people move together in time, whether dancing or marching or praying, it creates a physical and emotional bond between them. Brotherhood. Belonging. That’s why all military training involves marching in unison — because it is so effective at creating a strong feeling of unity between soldiers. So the method of prayer in Islam helps Muslims feel unified with each other. Contrast that to a typical church experience for a young person whose doubts have already been nurtured by school, the media, and pop culture. They go to church but don’t fit in. There is no unity, and only superficial friendships. Church members don’t seem to live their faith on Monday like they do on Sunday.
One commentator explained: “Islam completely takes over every aspect of Muslims’ lives. Not only are they required to pray five times a day, they have to go through a washing ritual beforehand. Islam dictates the laws, and the laws cover many public and private behaviors. In an Islamic state, it is impossible to be a casual Muslim.” And so the more serious a person becomes about their Islamic faith, the more they adhere to the teachings, and delve deeper and deeper into their doctrines. When a Muslim learns what Islam really teaches, and if this person wants to be the best Muslim he can be, then he must wage jihad, he must work to bring about a worldwide Islamic Caliphate, ruled by Sharia law. This is the ultimate goal of Islam. The Qur’an commands Muslims to expand the religion by war and conquest. So to be a good Muslim, one must become a radicalized Muslim. In their minds, it is the highest level of religious piety.
I say these things not to praise Islam, God forbid. But I say these things to show where we, as Christians, have fallen short and where we need to do much, much better. Radicalized Muslims are those who are no longer lukewarm, but are seeking to be the best Muslims they can be… following the teachings of their holy books as closely as they know how. They are sincerely wrong, but they are sincere.
What we need are some radicalized Christians, willing to die for the cause of Christ if it comes to that. Christians who are willing to take up their crosses daily and follow Him… Christians who are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ because they know it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe. We have been taught to be cowards, to be ashamed of our Lord. To act one way on Sunday and then to blend with the world on Monday. For that matter, many church-goers don’t even make it to Sunday afternoon before they’re swilling down beer and cussing at the TV screen during the football game… no different from their unbelieving neighbors. So much for keeping the Lord’s Day holy.
But imagine if the national conversation shifted. Imagine if the front page headlines began featuring “Radicalized Christians” living out their faith every day… how different it would look from the Radicalized Muslims living out their faith. Our God calls us to repentance and renewal. Why don’t we read His word, pray sincerely, seek Him and follow the Holy Scriptures we profess to believe, with the same enthusiasm we see in the followers of Allah? Imagine if we did, what a powerful, changed world we would be living in. We are losing the battle God has assigned us to, because we have surrendered out of cowardice and fear. Are you ashamed of God? Then stop acting like it. It’s time to let our lights so shine before men, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. Yes, it is time for some Radicalized Christians.